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Margaret Sumich

I am a vessel-maker: wether thrown and altered, or hand-built using slab, or pinch-and-coil for larger forms. Recently I have been exploring the paradox of absence: total function, but lack of function in one element of a piece.

My interest in wood-firing began about 30 years ago with the Raku process: the exposure to woodash, and then smoke from the reduction chamber created random colours on the glazed surfaces, and in some cases natural lustres as well as textures.

I continue to enjoy firing with wood and the random effects it produces rather that the rigidity of applied decoration, but I now fire to 1300C using the introduction of soda and a little salt to mainly form the glaze.

I also fire sculptural pieces to 1220C in a small wood kiln, and am looking to firing to a higher temperature (1300C) using just soda.

I am a tutor at Auckland Studio Potters, Captain Springs Rd Onehunga where I have taught a class for many years. My work can be found on three websites:
  • NZ Society of Potters:
  • Auckland Studio Potters:
  • Pots of Ponsonby:
Technical Details

I use two clay bodies: one (iron-bearing)I make from dry ingredients and the other a white clay a mixture of clays suitable for soda and salt. I almost always add grog to  my clays - even to the porcelain clay to help give me the surface I want.

Some of my pieces are thrown whilst others are either slab built or built with a pinch and coil technique.  The larger pieces are made and fired in two pieces, and fitted together after firing. I texture on the wheel mainly and then hand-turn bowl forms.

The pieces are bisque-fired to 950 C and then glazes or slips are applied . Some pieces are fired on the side with shells separating them. 


Born 1942 in Wanganui
Graduated B.Pharm (Otago)MPS 1965
Became interested in pottery in 1974
Exhibited with ASP since 1977
Exhibited with NZSOP since 1984
Foundation member of Artisan Centre Co-operative 1980
Current member of Pots of Ponsonby
Teaches at Auckland Studio Potters Teaching Centre.
Selected exhibitions include:
  • Fletcher Challenge, BNZ,
  • Norsewear Award,
  • Cleveland Award,
  • Humegas Award,
  • Royal Easter Show Pottery Award, and others.
Represented in Zagreb 1987 at the World Triennale of Small Ceramics.
Winner Thames Star Award 1992
Celebrity Award Titirangi Mug Show 1992
Norsewear Merit Award 1994
Titirangi Mug Show Merit Award 1994
Thames Star Merit Award 1996
Ballantynes Premier Award for Contemporary Tableware !999
Titirangi Mug Show Functional Award 2000.
Franklin Arts Festival 2nd 2001
Auckland Studio Potters Exhibition Merit Award 2001
Birkenhead Licensing Trust Award 2001
Various Solo and Group Exhibitions mainly in the Auckland Area.

Contact Details
09 4105396
09 4105396
Postal Address
24 Merriefield Ave
Forrest Hill
New Zealand
Current Mark Photo